15-foot Christmas tree makes its return to Westmount Gardens

After three years, the much-loved tree is up and fully decorated, thanks to the efforts of residents and team members
12/4/2023  - Deron Hamel

It has taken three years, but Westmount Gardens' beloved Christmas tree is once again rising high above the front entrance of the London, Ont. long-term care community and is covered with colourful holiday decorations, thanks to the hard work of residents and team members.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the tradition of putting up and decorating the 15-foot tree was on hold, but with restrictions now eased everyone was eager to see its return, says Adnan Resh, the home's life enrichment manager.

“We started decorating Nov. 13, but it (took) a whole week of decorating since we had the cafe to decorate, along with all five units, TV lounges and dining rooms,” Adnan tells S&R Today.

Putting up the tree was no problem, Adnan adds; it was the decorating that was the hard part, and that's where help was needed.

Luckily, residents were quick to step up to the challenge.

“We had a good handful of residents who were excited to help, and they spent hours (working on it), from fluffing the tree to putting ornaments on. Some even wrapped empty boxes to put under the tree,” Adnan says.

“The 'elves' are hard at work and will continue decorating throughout the week. Next up are the courtyards, where we will be putting up our inflatables again, along with Christmas lights.”

Adnan says one resident has been especially keen to help as much as she can and spent a few weeks making bows out of ribbon.

“The resident asked us not to wrap any presents at all for the residents, as this is something she loves doing and wants to take the task on,” Adnan says.

The work residents and team members have been doing to get the Christmas tree back up and the home decorated for the holiday season has been getting lots of positive attention, Adnan says.

“Residents and family members have complimented the cafe and the tree many times already,” he says. “Some family members have been saying, 'I have to go get my mom and dad to see this,' (and) our staff has been bringing the residents down to have a look. And they sure looked amazed.”

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